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A Startup Or Stability: What Do Tech Professionals Want?
Survey Reveals 84 Percent of Tech Pros Favor Midsize or Large Companies to Startups

MENLO PARK, Calif., Sept. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Working at a fast-paced start-up venture may seem exciting, but many information technology (IT) professionals would prefer stability, a new survey by Robert Half Technology shows. Only 16 percent of IT professionals polled said they would seek out work at a startup if given the choice. Instead, a majority (60 percent) of respondents said they would prefer working at a midsize firm, primarily because they believe these businesses provide structure and stability, and also the opportunity to innovate. Nearly a quarter (24 percent) would choose to make their living at a large company.

Where do tech professionals want to work? A new survey by Robert Half Technology reveals that 60 percent of techies favor a midsize company and 24 percent would choose to make their living at a large firm. Only 16 percent polled said they would seek out work at a startup.

The survey was developed and conducted by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis, and includes responses from more than 2,300 IT workers in North America.

IT professionals were asked, "If you had your pick of employers, would you prefer to work at a startup, midsize or large firm?" Their responses:

Midsize firm


Large firm





The 60 percent of respondents who said they would prefer working at a midsize firm gave the following reasons for their choice:

Structure and stability, but still opportunity to innovate


More opportunity for career growth


Enjoy corporate culture of midsize firm


Better earnings potential





View infographics with additional details: midsize firm, large firm, startup, all firms.

"There's no right answer when it comes to the ideal work environment," said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. "Each type of company has advantages and disadvantages. The challenge can be choosing the best one for you when you haven't necessarily experienced all of them -- or any of them -- which is often the case with new graduates."

Robert Half Technology offers five considerations for IT professionals to keep in mind when evaluating which size company suits them best:


Large Firm

Midsize Firm


1. Structure

Formal and  potentially complex structure and processes

Some structure, but it may evolve quickly as the company grows

Loose structure; ability for company to adapt easily to change

2. Autonomy

May be more hierarchical; less direct influence over business decisions

A more compressed leadership structure but still oversight from management

Minimal direct oversight; collaborative work environment

3. Professional development

Defined career paths, formal training programs

May rely on outside sources/conferences for training

Employees may learn more by doing than formal training

4. Stability

Stable; change is incremental

Regular change but heavily managed

Change happens quickly and often

5. Pay

Standardized tiered pay scale; established bonus program, extensive benefits

Structured pay scale; comprehensive benefits

Variable pay and benefits with long-term view on equity potential


Note: These are typical characteristics of firms of each size, but they may vary according to the individual business.

Added Reed, "Regardless of the company size, the key is to find an organization that encourages professional growth. Job seekers should look for opportunities that build upon their strengths and skill sets while broadening their industry knowledge. For new graduates, it's helpful to network and seek out informational interviews at many different types of companies to determine the best fit for their personality and learning style."

About Robert Half Technology

With more than 100 locations worldwide, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. Robert Half Technology offers online job search services at Follow Robert Half Technology at or visit our technology blog at

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SOURCE Robert Half Technology

For further information: Julie Sims, (650) 234-6104,